welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. our top stories: britain's parliament prepares for an historic vote on the proposed brexit deal. the prime minister urges her critics to give it a second look. donald trump calls claims he worked for russia a big fat hoax, after two separate media investigations raise new questions about his links to moscow. not only did i never work for russia, it's a disgrace you even asked that question, because it's a whole big fat hoax. protests over soaring fuel prices turn deadly, as zimbabwe grapples with its worst shortages in a decade. going on hunger strike, a british—iranian woman detained in tehran is protesting to get the care she says she needs. britain's prime minister, theresa may, has warned
there is a risk of there being no brexit at all if mps vote down her withdrawal deal in the house of commons on tuesday night. she said it would be letting the british public and democracy down if mps didn't back the agreement. letters from european leaders intended to provide fresh reassurance about the temporary nature of backstop arrangements have been dismissed by northern ireland's dup and many conservative brexiteers. it is expected that mrs may will suffer a heavy defeat. this report is by our political editor laura kuenssberg. how many photo opportunities? how many polite conversations? many more than the number of minds she has changed for some weeks now. tomorrow, parliament will give its verdict on the prime minister's brexit compromise. this is what a last—ditch
plea sounds like. i think the british people are ready for us to move on, to move on beyond division and come together. that is the chance that mps of all parties will have tomorrow night, and for our country's sake, i urge them to take it. thank you. you say this is a good deal, but you know the majority of your colleagues simply disagree with you. at this late stage, do you really think you have a chance of changing their minds? i have seen mps, when i've spoken to them, who are now — who recognise the importance of the decision that is being taken, and saying that they will support the deal, whereas perhaps in the past they had some doubts about it. you've given away so many things... even on a soggy monday morning, there is heat in the arguments outside. you've just given them 125 million, you — you have, you clown. i'm really annoyed, and i had to come down today. i had to come down.
it's disgusting, listening to them. she should do it off her own back. we voted to leave, we leave — end of. if we leave without a deal, or her deal, we are going to be in dire straits. whatever deal goes through, it's just going to continue this war between brexit and no brexit. this might not feel like a grand occasion, but these are some of the most important hours in theresa may's career. it is no surprise she has come to leave—supporting stoke, but she is speeding back to parliament, where her real problem lies. most backbench brexiteers heading to work have real fears about the deal, worrying we'd be stuck in a close bind with the eu. but, despite months of rows, some might still be persuaded. as i told the prime minister when she phoned yesterday, and as i've told every constituent, i will listen to the debate very carefully. i — indeed, i intend to participate in it this afternoon, and tomorrow evening, when it's over, i will make my decision. see you soon, cheerio. i just want to say thank you. oh, my pleasure.
but eurosceptics are not making friends by compromise. dozens of them, including former cabinet ministers like him, are dead set against theresa may's agreement. you've got to balance the undoubted but manageable short—term risk with our — what i think would be devastating economically. this is not for six months or a year. this is for our children. a smaller gang of theresa may's own mps believe the way out might be another referendum. if there is no majority, and parliament is as deadlocked as we think it is, then it may make sense that, although we don't want it, that we consider going back to the people with a new referendum. and there weren't many fans for her new promises. booing a letter from the eu that vows to do everything possible to avoid the so—called backstop, the arrangement to avoid a hard border in ireland. the eu will not want this backstop to come into force, and the exchange of letters today makes clear that,
if it did, they would do all they could to bring it to an end as quickly as possible. so i say to members on all sides of this house, whatever you may have previously concluded, over these next 2a hours, give this deal a second look. today's letter is nothing more than a repetition of exactly the same position that was pulled more than one month ago. it categorically does not give the legal assurances this house was promised, and contains nothing but warm words and aspirations. there needed to be legally binding changes to the withdrawal agreement in order for it to have any chance of getting through this house. remember, for the prime minister, this is a compromise, keeping close ties with the eu after brexit to preserve the economy, but taking charge here of issues like immigration. but, with only 2a hours to go, this place is a frenzy, long lists of mps putting forward ideas of their own. the trouble is, none of the rival groups agree. yet if, or likely when, the deal goes down tomorrow night,
it will still be for the prime minister to make the next move. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. a little earlier, our political correspondent iain watson gave this update from westminster. theresa may met her own members of parliament tonight. most of them thought she put in a pretty good performance, but in terms of substance, she didn't necessarily make any of them change their minds, if they were sceptical towards her deal. so she is still facing defeat. so what were likely to be seeing in the next 2a hours are attempts to diminish the size of the defeat, including an amendment that would try to, to some extent, mitigate the fears around the northern ireland backstop, this attempt to avoid a hard border in northern ireland. there will be an attempt to try to say, look, this should come to an end by the end of 2021. the snag is, of course, the european union has not negotiated that, has resisted negotiating that. but if this were successful,
and if this helped get the deal over the line in parliament, theresa may could return to brussels and say, are you prepared to live with this in order to get this deal through, to get brexit to happen, according to the pre—agreed timetable? but it looks as though, at the moment, even that will not succeed. there are too many of her own politicians who are very sceptical towards her deal, who still believe that, in terms of international law, that britain would effectively be kept far too close to eu regulations after we leave the eu, unless this issue of the northern ireland backstop is struck out, or unless there are guarantees from brussels. you will see a range of things coming forward in the next 2a hours to try to get this deal either over the line, or to diminish the size of the defeat. but so far, from where we're looking tonight and from talking to members of parliament, it still looks as though the prime minister is on course for a defeat, and then potentially, possibly, a challenge to her government by the opposition. the president of the united states
has found himself having to deny that he has ever worked for the russians. two separate investigations in the us media have posed new questions about his ties to moscow. the fbi, it is reported, began an inquiry into mr trump when he fired its director james comey, and the president has also been playing down a story that he confiscated the notes of his own interpreter after a meeting with vladimir putin. fresh challenges for him, as significant parts of the government remain closed for the 24th day. jane o'brien reports. open warfare in washington is the norm these days, but at least the first winter snowball fight on the national mall was good—natu red. elsewhere, the mood is ugly. reports of an fbi investigation into the president's relationship with russia have led to a fresh flurry of questions, prompting this reaction. i never worked for russia, and you know that answer better than anybody. i never worked for russia. not only did i never work for russia, i think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question, because it's a whole big fat hoax. it's just a hoax.
the allegations brought a tirade of tweets at the weekend, a distraction by any measure, as the longest government shutdown in us history entered its fourth week. the freezing weather has underscored the frosty relations between congress and the white house, divided over mr trump's demands for wall funding on the mexican border. so far, he hasn't declared a national emergency that would release the money, and with talks stalled, there are scant options to reopen the government. the government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only. the democrats will not fund border security, our safety, our national security. around the country, the partial shutdown is biting. there have been long lines at some of the nation's biggest airports, including atlanta, because unpaid security workers are calling in sick in large numbers. others don't know how long they can hold out.
this notion that government employees are ok with what's going on, that's a lie, ‘cause i can tell you, no—one‘s ok with it. washington feels increasingly like a city under siege, and with politics paralysed, americans around the country are wondering how they can dig themselves out. let's get some of the day's other news: the canadian leader, justin trudeau, has said he is extremely concerned by china's decision to sentence a canadian man to death for drug trafficking. robert lloyd schellenberg's case was unexpectedly reviewed following the arrest of a senior chinese telecoms executive in vancouver. a large cleanup operation is underway in the peruvian capital, lima, after a major drain burst, flooding one of peru's most crowded districts with raw sewage. around 2,000 people have been affected by the flood. president emmanuel macron has published an open letter to the french people in an attempt to defuse the yellow vest protests that have rocked france. he has called for a nationwide
debate on the future of the country. this week, he begins a series of town hall meetings to discuss issues including tax and immigration. tens of thousands of people have held rallies across polish cities to mourn the mayor of gdansk, who was stabbed at a charity event on sunday and has died in hospital. he had been in office for 20 years. his attacker blamed the mayor's former party, civil platform, for falsely imprisoning him. kim gittleson reports. they light candles, sang songs and shed tears. just a day after this square was filled with supporters of poland's biggest charity, it is now the site of one of the country's biggest tragedies. on sunday, pawel adamowicz, the city's mayor, was set to open a charity concert when a 27—year—old man suddenly ran on and stabbed him. the mayor was rushed
to hospital, where he underwent five hours of surgery. as news of his injuries spread, hundreds of gdansk residents lined up to donate blood. unfortunately, doctors could not save his life. translation: there were 21 litres of blood used during surgery, but in vain. the attack was carried out with such fury and the wounds were so severe that it wasn't possible to save pawel adamowicz. after his death was confirmed, mourners rallied against hatred. lech walesa, poland's former president, blamed rising political polarisation for the attack. translation: weak people cannot stand it. all kinds of sick people take such steps, and it is politics that has
to be blamed. the entire political system is guilty that such an incident occurred. donald tusk, the current president of the european council, who is from gdansk, held back tears and issued a promise to his friend. translation: today, dear pawel, i want to promise you that we will protect our gdansk, our poland and our europe against hatred and contempt. for you, and from all of us, i promise you. goodbye, pawel. polish police say they are continuing to investigate how the attacker accessed the stage. but for now, the residents of gdansk had a simple message for the mayor who served their city for decades — thank you. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: saying yes to the dress. why the demand for luxury bollywood bridal wear is soaring in britain. day one of operation desert storm
to force the iraqis out of kuwait has seen the most intense air attacks since the second world war. tobacco is america's oldest industry, and it's one of its biggest, but the industry is nervous of this report. this may tend to make people want to stop smoking cigarettes. there is not a street that is unaffected. huge parts of kobe were simply demolished, as buildings crashed into one another. this woman said she'd been given no help and no advice by the authorities. she stood outside the ruins of her business. tens of thousands of black children in south africa have taken advantage of laws passed by the country's new multiracial government and enrolled at formerly white schools. tonight sees the 9,610th performance of her long—running play the mousetrap. when they heard of her death today, the management considered whether to cancel tonight's performance, but agatha christie
would have been the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: it's crunch time for theresa may as an historic vote on her brexit plan looms. staying with that now and prime minister theresa may's warning of paralysis in parliament if her deal is rejected. at this point, there seems little doubt that it will be. the main question — by how much, and what might follow from that defeat. our deputy political editorjohn pienaar looks at the implications of tuesday's vote. theresa may has been fighting against heavy odds and she still is to get her brexit deal approved. it's not all facing huge resistance, plans for citizens‘ rights, so europeans here can stay,
are broadly in place. but even that is not settled on both sides. an end to free movement is a big part of the plan although the policy on who will be allowed into britain is still a work in progress. but the latest letters from brussels won't change the fact that mrs may is staring at defeat for her plan. the real problem is in the fine print. it allows a transition period, no great change, until the end of 2020, and a year more if wanted, until there is a full—fledged trade deal with the eu. if there is no deal in time there is the so—called backstop plan, to avoid the checks and searches no one wants on the eu's irish border. it means the uk staying under eu's customs rules. northern ireland closer still. it will be temporary, as brussels says, until there is a trade deal, but how long is that? some believe years and that is a big problem in the commons. mrs may needs a majority to win here. 320 mps or more, and she looks well short. why? there is only 317 tory mps, and the party is split. the tory brexiteers want clear of eu rules quickly, even if that means no deal. some want a hard expiry
date on the backstop, other pro—european tories say "why leave the eu just to follow its rules with no say in writing them?" and of course, the dup who prop up her government fear different treatment for northern ireland will weaken the union. as for labour they are split too on brexit but nearly all want to defeat mrs may's or her deal or both. if she wins, triumph, and on to brexit day on march 29. if she loses, and that's the betting, there will be a number of votes and the bigger the defeat the weaker her position, the decisive battle of brexit begins in earnest. in the commons and behind—the—scenes. while theresa may prepares to try again, labour will pick its moment for a vote of no confidence in the government they know they are most unlikely to win. the plotting will be about who takes control of brexit. most mps would oppose no deal.
several ministers would resign and now there is an alliance of mps hoping to seize control after any defeat from mrs may. rule out a new deal brexit and mobilise a majority across the main parties behind a new plan backed by law. their aim and the aim of many other mps, maybe delay brexit until there is a fresh plan. maybe a softer brexit deal, closer to the eu, similar to norway's. or maybe a new referendum. it could end in no brexit at all. talking up the chances of a no brexit might help to get brexiteer rebels on side, that's mrs may's hope. but the danger to mrs may, mps might succeed in seizing control. her best hope of scaring rebels into line could become
her worst nightmare. how does it all end? that is anyone's guess. the next big scene in this drama will be played out in westminster tomorrow. and we'll be following that vote live from westminster on tuesday — it all takes place from 1900 gmt. and full coverage throughout the day on bbc news. the husband of nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe — the british—iranian aid worker detained in tehran — says she's begun a 3—day hunger strike in protest at being denied specialist medical care. she was jailed for five years in 2016, convicted of spying — a claim she denies. this was nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe nearly three years ago after taking her young daughter to tehran to visit family. she thought she was going home when approached by iran's revolutionary guards. since then she's been held for more than 1,000 days and it's has taken a huge toll on her physical and mental health. these pictures broadcast on iranian tv last week for the first time added to the pressure on her. but there was something else her husband richard said today
that pushed her into going on hunger strike. they tried to pressure her to become a spy for iran against the uk, specifically to spy on dpit, the department for international trade and an organisation called small media which the revolutionary guard keep trying to link her to, like in the film of last week, but which she has no connection to. since she was briefly released last summer and reunited with her daughter, mr ratcliffe says she has not been allowed any specialist medical treatment for neurological problems and lumps in her breasts. he told me the stakes for her were very high. she certainly felt it was her last resort and certainly before christmas she was pretty desperate to get home. she said it. now i hope it is not last, last resort and that she does it until she ends up in hospital. but, yes, she is not doing it lightly. this afternoon the iranian ambassador to the uk was summoned to the foreign office. the foreign secretary, jeremy hunt, has called nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe's hunger strike a truly terrible indictment of iran's approach and says he won't rest until she is home. caroline hawley, bbc news. there have been widespread protests in zimbabwe, over an announcement by the president, doubling the cost of fuel.
thousands have taken to the streets, saying they can't afford the price hike to more than 3 dollars a litre. it's the latest in a series of economic problems since robert mugabe was forced to step down from the presidency in november 2017. from the capital, harare, shingai nyoka reports. zimbabwe is boiling over yet again. sparked, as in the past, by a deepening economic crisis. over the weekend, fuel prices more than doubled in the country with more than 80% unemployment, the reaction was furious and protest. amid the tensions, president mnangagwa left the country to russia on a 4—nations tour. many believed he should have remained to make sure the problems they are experiencing are temporary. you are chosen by the people. he must listen to the people. people are angry. the people are suffering. people have been quiet for so long. zimba bwe's economy has struggled for decades.
the legacy of former president robert mugabe's misrule. president mnangagwa blames foreign currency shortage and increased demand. they don't get enough us dollars but we are exporting diamonds and gold, platinum, lithium, where is the money going? if i don't have money to put in my car on my bike, i cannot go to work. it affects my pocket, i have kids and it also affects my kids. after ousting robert mugabe from power over a year ago and promising to bring prosperity, scenes like these are a reminder officials in the thai capital, bangkok, have fired water cannon into the hot tropical air and hosed down streets in a bid to combat air pollution which has been blanketed by smog since saturday. the agriculture ministry was also preparing to seed clouds to try to clear the air.
pollution in bangkok has reached unhealthy levels before, usually during the dry season between january and march, but it doesn't normally hang around too long. now do you want to look like a bollywood star on your big day? the demand for luxury indian bridalwear is increasing in the uk, partly because of social media. photos of bollywood stars tying the knot have inspired brits to want the same, and top indian designers gathered in london this weekend for a wedding show. this from haroon rashid of bbc asian network. luxury indian bridal wear has never been more in demand. thousands of british asians filled a swanky mayfair hotel to meet the men and women behind the designs and to discuss the possibility of wearing something similar to the stars. the last four months has been chaotic, we have had several weddings. then priyanka chopra and nickjonas‘s wedding.
bollywood and fashion has worked together many times to create fashion awareness and many people benefit at the grassroots level. many people getjobs done and that's exciting. some of these designer outfits are as expensive as western luxury labels and seen by the majority of british asians they were as unaffordable and exclusive to the elite. the bride is very clear on which design she wants for a specific function, just she want one designer or many, and i think that is a phenomenal change. they have taken this torch to get the originals from india. people have been talking about brexit but i have not seen any downfall in people spending for couture at all. a lot of the indian designers have closed the gap for people able to get the replica because they have gone down on pricing. but it's notjust affordability that's changed, but also an increase in access, whether that be in person
or on the internet. the moment a celebrity wears you, within minutes everyone gets to know, and within minutes we have requests on instagram and e—mail. i've had the good fortune of dressing the likes of beyonce, sophie turner, she's lovely. it's amazing that social media connects you to the consumer directly with no time lost at all. the brides spent a fortune at the show with designers tailoring hundreds of off the rack pieces for british asians wanting that extra bit of glamour for their big day. more on the website. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbcmikeembley. hello.
by the end of this forecast we will be talking about something much colder, but in the short—term it's relatively mild. west or south—westerly winds across the uk. the cold air is behind this cold front and that'll be sinking its way south and eastwards as we go through wednesday and into thursday. but on tuesday, the front is draped across the north of scotland, the heaviest and most persistent of the rain here pulling its way slowly northwards through the day. further south, mainly dry, a lot cloud, there may be drizzle particularly for western hills. a few breaks in the cloud mainly east of high ground, and it's quite a breezy day for tuesday. this is an idea of wind speeds, average wind speeds through the afternoon. but it will mild, temperatures between 9 and 11 celsius. the cloud will be fairly stubborn across much of the uk through tuesday evening, and will start to thicken. outbreaks of rain soon arriving into south—west scotland, northern ireland, sinking its way down into parts of northern england, maybe the far north of wales and parts of south—west england
by dawn on wednesday. further south, mainly dry, still a lot of cloud, still mild. temperatures not much lower than 5 or 6 celsius. but as we go through wednesday, this cold front continues to slide its way south and eastwards. as its name suggests, behind it is some colder air. some rain on the front itself, and behind it some showers, which will be wintry over scotland, mainly over higher ground but some of that snow could get down to lower levels as we head down towards the central belt. outbreaks of rain across central and south—east england through the afternoon. behind it, some spells of sunshine. much colder feel across scotland, 4 or 5 celsius, just about hanging onto milder conditions across southern south—east england, 9 or 10 here. but that front finally clears away as we go through into thursday morning. we pick up a brisk north or north—westerly wind, that's going to feed further wintry showers across,
and that's going to lead to some icy stretches first thing on thursday morning, particularly across scotland and northern england. further south, a lot of cloud, and for a time milder conditions. but not for long. by thursday, that cold air digs in across the uk. some wintry showers down across eastern coasts, but for most some crisp sunshine, but a much colder feel on thursday. temperatures not much higher than six or seven celsius. now, as we go into friday, under clear skies, a widespread frost across the uk, a really cold start to the day on friday, but for many crisp with some sunshine. however, there is a front to the west, could be just sliding its way eastwards, bringing more cloud, some outbreaks of rain for western fringes. a chance, as it bumps into the cold air, you could see a little bit of snow. but for many, dry with sunshine on friday but feeling much colder. bye— bye. this is bbc news. the headlines. theresa may has warned there's a risk of there being no brexit if mps vote down her withdrawal deal during a crucial vote on tuesday. it's expected that the prime minister will suffer a heavy defeat, with many of her own mps expected to vote against her. donald trump has dismissed claims that he worked for russia
as a "big fat hoax". two separate investigations in the us media have posed new questions about his ties to moscow, including claims he concealed transcripts of a meeting with russian president vladimir putin. violent protests have turned deadly in zimbabwe after the government more than doubled fuel prices to tackle widespread shortages. it's not known how many people have been killed but hundreds were arrested in the cities of harare and bulawayo. more now on brexit: what are people outside westminster who voted in the referendum making of it all?